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Mayor de Blasio Appoints William Yang As Executive Director Of The NYC Children’s Cabinet

January 25, 2019

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today appointed William Yang as the new Executive Director of the Children’s Cabinet. As Executive Director, Yang will continue the Cabinet’s mission to develop opportunities for City agencies to leverage each other’s work for a greater impact on children and families. Created in 2014, the NYC Children's Cabinet is a multi-agency initiative to bolster communication and coordination among City agencies about areas of work that impact child safety and well-being. The Cabinet is chaired by Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio, comprised of commissioners and directors from 24 City agencies and Mayoral offices, and guided by an Advisory Board which includes appointees from the public, non-profit, and private sectors. Yang will start on February 11.

“The future of New York City rests on the shoulders of our children,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Will’s experience will help make sure the Children’s Cabinet continues leading the efforts that will help us reach our goal to make New York City the fairest big city for everyone, including our youngest New Yorkers.”

“Will brings tremendous expertise in health and human services to the Children's Cabinet and will help us invest in the City’s most important resource.” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “As the new Executive Director of the Children's Cabinet he will play a pivotal role in the lives of the 1.7 million children in New York and help shape a better future for the entire City.”

“The Children’s Cabinet leverages the collective expertise of all City agencies entrusted with the wellbeing of youth and families to advance innovative multiagency initiatives,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Herminia Palacio. “Will has the leadership, ideas and experience to support and grow the Cabinet’s crucial work. I am thrilled by his appointment, and look forward to working with him on new approaches to provide every child the opportunities and support they need.”

“New York City has been making historic strides in creating new and expanded opportunities for children,” said Darren Bloch, Senior Advisor to the Mayor and Director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships. “Under Will’s leadership, the Children’s Cabinet will ensure City agencies are collaborating even more to break down silos and find the best approaches to helping young New Yorkers and their families.”

“As a new father myself, I am humbled by this opportunity to help strengthen New York City families,” said Children’s Cabinet Executive Director William Yang. “I’ve spent my career using innovative tools and methods to improve the health and well-being of children and families, and I look forward to helping ensure the City’s resources enable every child to succeed. I’m proud to join administration leaders in the effort to meet this important goal.”

Yang joins the Children’s Cabinet from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where in 2012 he founded the federal government’s first internal innovation accelerator, the HHS Idea Lab’s HHS Ignite. In this role, his clients included federal and local leaders driving efforts to better serve and ensure the success of children through adulthood, including the Office of Head Start and Child Care, the Office of Family Assistance, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the Office of Adolescent Health, as well as the National Institutes of Health. Yang and his team also developed the strategy for the Administration for Children and Families’ flagship initiative, the Office of Economic Independence, which will help human services agencies nationwide mitigate intergenerational poverty.

“I turned to Will to help frame and lead efforts addressing some of the toughest problems and projects we faced in the Department [of Health and Human Services],” said Bryan Sivak, former Chief Technology Officer at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “He has been instrumental in helping our human services leaders understand that system change starts at the State and local levels. I’m confident he will provide the leadership that will help the City advance its goal of a future in which all young New Yorkers have the supports and environment they need to become thriving adults.”

Under Yang’s leadership, the Children’s Cabinet will advance its existing work on early childhood and child welfare, while also expanding to focus on physical and mental health as well as justice-involved, homeless, and otherwise vulnerable adolescents. In 2019, the Cabinet will help develop and launch a new human-centered design project on disrupting intergenerational inequity, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the New York City Community Trust, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This project is an example of the Cabinet’s strategic goal to employ a diversity of rigorous tools to solve complex societal problems.

NYC Children’s Cabinet Initiatives

  • Partnership between the NYC Children's Cabinet and Robin Hood's Fund for Early Learning (FUEL). In 2018, the NYC Children’s Cabinet received a renewal of their Robin Hood Foundation Fund for Early Learning (FUEL) grant to support early childhood development, targeting the over 100,000 children ages 0-3 living in poverty in New York City. Building upon the “Talk to Your Baby” campaign, the City is leveraging its partnerships to deepen efforts to support children’s lifelong success. Other partners include the Bezos Family Foundation, the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, and the other FUEL grantees. To support early brain-development messaging, the Cabinet will launch a system-wide parent engagement campaign, utilizing the Bezos Family Foundation’s Vroom curriculum.
  • Growing Up NYC, a digital platform for NYC parents and caregivers to easily access a vast array of resources for raising a family in New York City.
  • Generation NYC, a first-of-its-kind digital platform for New Yorkers ages 13-24 designed to help young New Yorkers navigate the sometimes challenging waters of adolescence and young adulthood by offering tailored resources and opportunities.
  • NYC Unity Project. In collaboration with First Lady Chirlane McCray, the Children’s Cabinet played an instrumental role in the development and launch of the New York City Unity Project, the City's multi-agency strategy to deliver unique services to young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity (LGBTQ).
  • NYC Baby Showers, organized by the Children’s Cabinet and the Office of the First Lady, have served as a key element of the Cabinet’s early childhood efforts to promote language acquisition, parent-child attachment and healthy brain development by encouraging parents to talk, read and sing with their babies from birth. This initiative has reached nearly 9,000 families from across the five boroughs.
  • Safe Medication Campaign. The Children’s Cabinet’s Child Welfare and Safety Subcommittee supported the launch of the Safe Medication Campaign alongside ACS, DOHMH, HRA, NYPD, and NYC Service. This campaign raised awareness and provided resources to reduce the likelihood that children accidentally ingest medications.
  • New York City Performance Partnership Pilot (NYCP3). In partnership with the Center for Youth Employment (CYE), the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), the Children’s Cabinet launched NYCP3 to attend to the specific needs of young parents who are also out-of-school and out-of-work, offering family-friendly support to help them achieve their employment and education goals.

About Will Yang

Yang received his Bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in 2006 and his Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare and Innovation from Georgetown University in 2013. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design’s Human Centered Design Public Policy Institute in 2015. He also served as an Innovation Fellow at The University of Maryland’s Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship where he co-taught a course for public health students on addressing racial and ethnic disparities.

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